Civil War

Jim Chen

Civil war was the greatest war in American history. It was waged in 10,000
places-from Valverde, New Mexico, and Fernandina on the Florida coast. More
than three million Americans fought in it and more than 600,00 men died in it.
It was not only the immensity of the fight but the new weapons, the new
standards of generalship, and the strategies of destruction which made the Civil
War an event present ever since in the American consciousness.

Here are some of the crucial events of the war: the firing of the first shots at
Fort Sumter; the battles of Shiloh, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg; Sherman\'s
dramatic march to the sea; the surrender at Appomattox. In fact, Civil War
wasn\'t simply the story of great battles and great generals, it was also an
elaborate portrait of ourselves, American people- individuals and families,
northerners and southerners, soldiers and civilians, slaves and slaveowners,
rich and poor, urban and rural.

Twenty years before Civil War started, South and North didn\'t have a good
relationship already and there were many issues that they didn\'t agree on each
other such as Clay\'s compromise, Fugitive slave act, Pottawatomie massacre, etc.
The Southern states supported slavery because the slave population held more
than 40 percent of the entire population and also they needed slavery for their
industrialization. Therefore, if they freed all the slaves, someone would
predict, many whites would have no jobs and many things would be up-side-down.
As the result, controlling over slaves was very important for the Southern. But
the Northern were opponent of slavery since the slavery population took less
than 10 percent of the entire population and Southern states were already free.
Then something really happened when Abraham Lincoln, a known opponent of slavery,
was elected president. The Southern states then decided to secede, which meant
that they were leaving the nation because they thought how could Lincoln be the
president of the United States if most of the Southern didn\'t vote for him.
Now, as we could see, our nation started to divide into two, the south and the
north.

During the year of 1861 to 1865, there were thousands of war between south and
north and there were countless people died in it. The war immediately began
when south and north fought for Fort Sumter. At Lincoln\'s inauguration in March
4, 186\', the new president said that he had no plans to tend slavery in those
states where it already existed, but he also said that he would not accept
secession. Lincoln hoped to resolve the national crisis without warfare. When
president Lincoln planned to send supplies to Fort Sumter, where North only had
in the South at the time, he alerted the state in advance, in an attempt to
avoid hostilities. South Carolina, however, feared a trick; the commander of
the fort, Robert Anderson, was asked to surrender immediately. Anderson offered
to surrender, but only after he had exhausted his supplies. His offer was
rejected, and in April 12, the Civil War began with shots fired on the fort.
Fort Sumter eventually was surrendered to South Carolina.

Attack on Fort Sumter prompted four more states ,Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee,
and North Carolina, to join the Confederacy (South). Eventually, the residents
of the western counties of Virginia didn\'t wish to secede along with the rest of
the state. This section of Virginia was admitted into the Union as the states
of West Virginia in June 20, 1863. On June 1861, public demand pushed General-
in-Chief Winfield Scott to advance on the South before adequately training his
untried troops. Scott ordered General Irvin McDowell to advance on Confederate
troops stationed at Manassas Junction, Virginia, where near the Capital of South,
Richmond. Then McDowell attacked in July 21, and was initially successful, but
the introduction of Confederate reinforcements resulted in a Southern victory
and a retreat toward Washington by the strong federal troops. From this battle,
First Battle of Bull Run, everyone finally realized that the war would last much
longer than what they thought. After the Battle of Bull Run, each side began to
train its troops and to plan strategy for the war. There were differences
between both side\'s strategies. Much of the North\'s strategy depended on
geography and they wanted to control over Mississippi River because it would
enable the North to penetrate deep into the South and keep the Confederacy from
resupplying its western forces. The South planned to capture Washington, D.C.,
capital of the North and won the European aid.

In April, 1862, General McClellan\'s troops left northern Virginia to begin the
Peninsular Campaign. By May 4, they occupied Yorktown, Virginia. At
Williamsburg, Confederate